Jeep JL Transfer Case (T-Case) Fluid Change

What is Transfer Case Fluid – Part One?

It’s a fair question to start with, not only because many people maybe don’t even know what transfer fluid is. In addition to that there is also the fact that quite a lot of cars don’t even need transfer case fluid at all.

So just what is this mysterious liquid?

Well, to answer that you first need to know what a transfer case it self actually is. You will only find a transfer case on a 4-wheel drive truck, SUV, pick up or van. That is because the transfer case is a key element of the drive train of these types of vehicles.

It is found at the rear of the vehicle, right at the back end of the vehicle transmission. Inside the transfer case you will find a complicated array of gears and axles that work to transfer power from the vehicle engine as it travels along the transmission and divert that power to the rear wheels.

It is therefore a very important component on any 4 wheel or all wheel drive vehicle because quite frankly, without a transfer case you don’t have a vehicle with power in all four wheels.



Symptoms of transfer case fluid in need of replacement:

  • Difficulty changing gears – Low or dirty transfer case fluid can affect your transmission’s ability to shift gears. It can also result in your car unexpectedly falling out of four-wheel drive.
  • Loud noises while driving – As the transfer case fluid loses its lubricating properties, friction will occur inside. This will create loud grinding noises which may become louder when four-wheel drive is engaged.


That’s about it folks, this one is short but sweet. If you drive a 4 wheel or all wheel drive vehicle, the transfer case is a relatively unknown but highly important component. The transfer case fluid is a key lubricant that is essential to keeping this component, and by extension your vehicle, operating correctly.

So make sure you use this guide to take care of your transfer case fluid, and it will take care of you.


  1. What if I Never Changed the Oil in My Car? – howstuffworks
  2. When Transfer Case Oil Should be Changed? – Testing Autos

Part 2 of 2: Refilling the transfer case

Step 1: Reinstall the drain plug. Once the fluid has drained completely, reinstall the drain plug, leaving the fill plug out.

  • Tip: Some fluid bottles come with a spout top so you can squeeze the fluid out through it. If there is not enough room under your vehicle to get it into the fill plug, the filler/extraction syringe listed in the materials needed will come in handy.

Step 2: Refill the transfer case. The transfer case does not have a dipstick to check fluid level. It is basically “fill till you spill.” Using either the fluid bottle top or syringe, fill the fluid into the filler plug hole until fluid runs out of it.

Step 3: Clean up. Reinstall the fluid fill plug. Wipe any excess fluid from the transfer case. Dispose of the use fluid properly. In most cases, your local auto parts store will take used oil/fluids and recycle them free of charge.

If your four wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle is due for a transfer case service, contact YourMechanic today to arrange for a mobile technician to come to your home or office.

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